Hurricane Ike was a pain in the ass to everybody, but for media outlets it was a chance to shine.
Every daily newspaper whose town gets hit by a hurricane dreams of a Pulitzer awarded not only for content but for the bravery, dedication and heroic actions of the staff. It usually doesn't happen.
Television stations are no different, and KHOU has now racked up a big one: General Manager Susan McEldoon has been named major-market Manager of the Year by Broadcasting & Cable magazine.
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Perhaps most important, McEldoon--at the time still in her rookie year as KHOU president--worked out contingency plans to produce KHOU's newscasts when power failures kept viewers' televisions dark. When Ike made landfall Sept. 13, KHOU's coverage could be seen on KHOU.com, and heard on local and satellite radio. It became information Houston relied on.
While several Texas stations gave their all to keep viewers informed during the storm, it was KHOU, Belo's news powerhouse in Houston, that many believe set the gold standard during its 91 straight hours of live coverage.
We couldn't see a lot of KHOU's coverage, because we were bravely, dedicated-ly, heroically putting out a paper in a building that had been flooded and lost all power. But we'll take B&C's word on it.
Congratulations to McEldoon and to the staffers at Channel 11.
-- Richard Connelly